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February 18, 2007


I think it's slightly more complicated. If we had a plan to deal with the sectarian problems, it might require security to work. Even if we have no plan, it might be that the parties involved, having stared into the abyss, are ready to pull back, but can only do so given some break in hostilities, or that some mediators need such a break to work. I don't see much sign of this, but it's possible.

What I don't get at all is people saying things like: hey, violence is down, the surge is working. As I recall, before the surge started, various present and retired military people were saying: this will just cause bad people to lie low and wait us out, at which point they will reappear. If that's happening, of course violence goes down temporarily. The real question is: will this make things better over the long term?

I don't see any particular reason to think it will. But I really hope I'm wrong.

you're right of course - it is more complicated. for instance, there is a feedback effect too.

i wrote this as more of a demonstrative of the basic error of the sruge -- ie., that the underlying conditions are the source of our problems. and it seems like this was implicit in practically every expert's advice to the WH and the ISG, but of course, it was all ignored.

Is Mickey really hanging up a banner? This is what he says (emphasis mine):

"Do all those Democratic Senators running for President really want to vote to disapprove the surge even as it seems to be showing some initial, tentative, possibly illusory positive effects?"

Since there are some apparent "initial, tentative, possibly illusory positive effects" from the surge -- and since know one can know precisely what is going on in Iraq -- Mickey's observation seems dead on.

I don't understand the Republican's reluctance to let the anti-surge vote go through - if they think it will show the public that the democrats are "voting for defeat", why not let them do it?

I guess the simple answer is they fear the public will not see it that way.

von - that's why i used the lawyerly "tempted"

"And until the underlying ethnic fault lines are addressed, it's hard to see how any calm will hold."

Well, it is hard to see how any calm will hold without constant military pressure. Obviously Saddam did it for decades and from the position of the minority ethnic group. (Not an endorsement of his methods, merely an observation treating symptoms).


I wish somebody, and your a perfect it, would point out the reality of the Democratic Senate position.

The Democrats hold a 51-49 advantage on paper. With one member in the hospital, that is really a 50-49 margin.

On any Iraq, (or probably important issue,) Lieberman votes with the GOP.

Which means that Reid has an effective minority of votes. What do these Democrats propose to do. Heard some nut on Ed Shultz demanding that the Dems impose Frist's nuclear option. THEY STILL LOSE.

All the action is going to be in the House, and the most likely accomplishment will be to prevent renewal of legislation.

Bush will likely veto anything very important.

Jerry Fear

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